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Baseball, Business and Nature: The Hank Aaron State Trail

Oct. 25, 2012
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Walk, run or bike—see the Menomonee River, plants, animals and native flowers on the Hank Aaron State Trail. Follow the trail as it winds along the Menomonee River and see many Milwaukee landmarks. This trail provides a tour of the Menomonee River Valley, an area of the city that has seen many changes—a wild rice marsh, a bustling hub for industry and now a combination of nature and business.

The trail is named after Hank Aaron, former Milwaukee Brave and Milwaukee Brewer and Hall of Fame baseball player. Aaron played in Milwaukee for over 20 years and broke the all-time homerun record in 1974. He also holds records for total bases, extra-base hits and RBI’s.  He was nominated for 25 total All-Star Games and won 3 Gold Gloves.

Besides being an exceptional baseball player, Hank Aaron also donated his support and namesake to the recreational trail.

The trail starts at Lakeshore Park at Lake Michigan near the Summerfest Grounds and stretches ten miles west. It also connects with other major trails for continued recreation such as—the Oak Leaf Trail, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Glacial Drumlin State Trail and the Military Ridge State Trail.

Not only a nature tour, the Hank Aaron Trail also passes by many Milwaukee attractions. You can see the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Historic Third Ward on the east and Miller Park and the Mitchell Park Domes on the west end. In addition to landmarks, along points on the trail are 12 interpretive signs providing bikers and walkers with information about points along the trail and the area’s history.

Impressive features to notice on the trails are the native plants and flowers. The combined efforts of many groups and businesses have set forth a planting imitative to reinstate the original ecosystem in the Menomonee Valley nature areas. Some to look for are prairie grass, goldenrod and even wild rice!

The Hank Aaron Trail provides many opportunities for recreation, sightseeing and education. With so many landmarks to see, this urban trail combines the beauty of city and nature to be preserved for generations to come. 


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